Ikea UK's resource-efficiency drive blossoms as revenues surge
Ikea UK has made strides to become a "truly circular retailer", with the company's annual report highlighting resource-efficiency progress and a second consecutive year of zero waste sent to landfill during a period of economic growth.
Marston's brewer receives water self-supply licence
Brewery and pub retailer Marston's, which operates more than 1,600 pubs, bars and lodges has been granted a self-supply licence to supply its own water and wastewater services.
Nearly half of all fresh potatoes thrown away daily by UK households
Nearly half of the edible fresh potatoes bought by UK householders each day are thrown away - nearly 2.7 million of them per day, and at a "staggering" annual cost of £230m, figures show.
Renewable energy in the supply chain
This new report focuses on the opportunity for companies to amplify their carbon reduction efforts by driving renewables through their supply chains. Given how easy it is to choose renewable electricity in the UK, businesses could be doing more to engage with their suppliers.
Aldi joins World Banana Forum to strengthen supply chain
Aldi UK and Ireland has backed its commitment to sourcing 100% sustainable bananas by joining a global forum that promotes fair working conditions and environmental standards for banana production.
In practice: UK's largest landlord-funded distribution warehouse rooftop solar installation
The landlord/tenant relationship can be a barrier when it comes to sustainability and onsite generation, but both Dixons Carphone and LondonMetric will benefit from the new solar installation at a distribution warehouse in Newark.
IKEA moves step closer to 'energy independence' as sales rise
Swedish retail giant IKEA has revealed that it now owns more wind turbines than stores, as it closes in on a target to become "energy independent" by 2020.
Cradle to Cradle: How C&A is leading the fashion industry's circular transition
EXCLUSIVE: Fashion retailer C&A is driving circularity by selling apparel products made from sustainable cotton, and the Dutch-based firm is eager to bring the rest of the industry on its journey.
Pret A Manger's head of sustainability questions MP's coffee cup inquiry
Pret A Manger's head of sustainability committed to "maximising" renewable and reusable packaging for coffee cups, but has questioned whether the Environmental Audit Committee's inquiry into disposable coffee cups is the best way to promote resource efficiency and sustainability in the UK.
In practice: Network Rail's closed-loop partnership to recycle waste coffee grounds
Striking a partnership with coffee waste collectors Bio-Bean enabled Network Rail to make steps in reducing waste at its station, and also got retailers and staff to boost coffee collection to be used for renewable power.
Information overload: Why retailers must finetune sustainability communication
Retailers must be careful not to "bombard" consumers with information, despite heightened external pressures to champion Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues, according to delegates from Kingfisher, H&M and Debenhams.
Starbucks launches leftover food discount scheme
Starbucks has launched a new food waste scheme which will see products near expiry sold at half price during the last hour of trading, with all profits going to help prevent child hunger.
Responsible Retailer: How House of Fraser is reinvigorating its sustainability approach
From being ahead of the curve on supply chain ethics to exploring the adoption of science-based targets, House of Fraser is rapidly making waves in the industry through its "fast moving" Responsible Retailer strategy.
Whitbread first hospitality firm to be granted water self-supply licence
Regulator Ofwat has granted hospitality giant Whitbread a self-supply licence to deliver its own water and wastewater services for all of its brands in England.
Belfast shopping centre slashes electricity bill by a third
A West Belfast retail development has reportedly slashed its electricity costs by 33% through an energy efficiency lighting upgrade.
Plastic packaging: Are retailers ready to face the elephant in the room?
Britain's retailers must address "the elephant in the room" that is the use of polyethene plastic for the delivery of products to and from stores, the head of sustainability at outdoor clothing company Surfdome has told edie.
Brands driving economic boon for sustainable cotton in Africa
A growing focus on sustainable procurement from textile companies such as ASOS, Aldi and Jack & Jones has helped the largest label for sustainable cotton from Africa increase licensing revenues by 47% over the last 12 months.
Home Depot to fit retail stores with solar panels and Tesla Powerpacks
The world's largest home improvement retailer, Home Depot, has signed an agreement with GE and Tesla to create "mini solar farms" at 50 stores in the US.
Aldi rolls out natural refrigerants across UK stores to cut emissions
German discount supermarket group Aldi has invested £20m in natural refrigerants which will be installed across all of its UK stores to reduce its environmental impact.
Holland and Barrett capitalises on water retail competition with new supply deal
Health food retailer Holland and Barrett has brought hundreds of its UK sites under one contract for water retail services, after striking a new three-year deal with Anglian Water Business.
'The jewel in the crown': Landsec drives towards science-based target with Britain's biggest shopping centre solar installation
The UK's largest commercial property developer has today (11 August) flicked the switch on a giant rooftop solar system at a shopping centre in Leeds, kicking off a 12-month investment programme in onsite sustainability across its estate.
36,000 businesses have switched water retailer since market competition opened
More than 36,000 businesses have switched water retailer since the market opened to competition earlier this year, with around 60% of those switches coming from low-water-users.
TODAY AT 11AM: Tune into edie's free webinar on supply chain ethics
Sustainability and CSR professionals can tune into a live, interactive webinar on Tuesday 25 July, which will discuss how businesses can enhance social sustainability through ethical supply chain management.
Marston's brewery seeks to supply own water retail services
Brewery and pub retailer Marston's has applied to Ofwat for a water self-supply licence, which would allow it to provide its own water retail services.
WWF: Luxury brands failing to source sustainable timber
Major luxury retailers such as Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Selfridges are failing to take sufficient action to ensure the timber of wood products they sell are not contributing to deforestation, according to new research from WWF.
The state of sustainability: edie launches new series of sector summary reports
The key sustainability drivers, challenges and opportunities facing UK businesses are being explored in a new series of industry-focused edie insight reports, with the inaugural sector summary investigating the state of sustainability in retail published today (5 July).
Sector summary: The state of sustainability in retail
This edie insight report explores some of the key drivers, challenges and opportunities facing sustainable business within the UK retail sector.
Aldi to install 96,000 solar panels across UK stores this year
German discount supermarket chain Aldi has today (5 July) announced it will install 96,000 solar panels across more than 50 UK stores by the end of 2017.
How can businesses tackle Britain's food waste problem?
Financial incentives for redistribution and publicly reported data on food waste were among the proposals put forward by business and political figures at a high-level panel discussion about food waste in Westminster.
Co-op urges waste sector to put pressure on retail recycling laggards
Britain's recycling system is suffering from a lack of coherence between the major players in the packaging and waste value chain, The Co-operative Food's environment manager has said.
Sainsbury's commits to 100% LED lighting by 2020
Sainsbury's has become the first supermarket in the UK to make a commitment to switch to 100% LED lighting by 2020.
In practice: Canary Wharf Group's closed-loop Clean Coffee Zone
With the Canary Wharf Estate welcoming almost a million visitors every week, site owner Canary Wharf Group has seized upon an opportunity to ignite a resource revolution. Through the creation of closed-loop 'Clean Coffee Zone', coffee-related waste is now recycled and turned into new resources.
Greene King sets zero-waste-to-landfill goal
Greene King has today (19 June) pledged to become the first UK brewer to achieve zero-waste-to-landfill across its estate, with a target date set for 2020.
Plan A 2025: M&S updates flagship initiative to 'embrace a sustainable future'
Marks & Spencer (M&S) has today (1 June) launched a new roadmap for its Plan A sustainability programme, which includes targets to reduce emissions by 80% and turn the company into a zero-waste business.
Unilever goes 100% renewable across all UK manufacturing sites
Unilever has today (23 May) revealed that all of its UK manufacturing sites are 100% powered by electricity generated from certified renewable sources.
Britons waste 1.4 million edible bananas a day, research shows
The UK general public throws away 1.4 million edible bananas every day, according to research from Sainsbury's, which values the waste stream to cost around £80m a year.
H&M pledges to double energy productivity by 2030
Clothing retail giant H&M has this week become the first international fashion retailer to sign up to The Climate Group's EP100 campaign, pledging to double its energy productivity within the next 13 years.
Food waste: Ambitious national reduction target needed, MPs say
A national food waste reduction target and greater transparency from retailers are among the steps required to reduce UK food waste levels, according to a group of MPs who claim the issue is costing the average British citizen £200 per year.
One month until edie Live 2017 - get your ticket now
With just one month to go until doors open for edie Live 2017 we take a look at why it is the destination event for sustainability and energy managers.
Mars and Sainsbury's look to packaging to reduce consumer food waste
New technologies and improved dialogue with consumers has seen brands and retailers turn to packaging in order to reduce food waste, although companies still need to dispel myths that packaging is "evil".
Hammerson launches all-encompassing Net Positive strategy
Retail property specialist Hammerson has become the first firm in its sector to launch a pan-European Net Positive strategy covering carbon, resource use and water consumption across internal and tenant operations.
Major firms commit to ending deforestation in cocoa supply chains
Senior executives from 12 leading coca and chocolate companies, including Mars, Mondelēz International and Nestlé, have heeded the advice of the Prince of Wales and agreed to end deforestation in the global cocoa supply chain.
Internal communication key to driving resource efficiency in fast-fashion world
Sustainability professionals working within incumbent fashion retailers need to be more closely aligned with procurement departments in order to accelerate the transition to more sustainable fashion industry.
Tesco unveils online supplier food waste 'hotline'
Tesco has today (13 March) launched an innovative online food waste 'hotline' to help the retailer work directly with suppliers and producers to identify and prevent potential supply chain food waste.
Amazon expands renewables ambition with new solar rooftop pledge
Online retailer Amazon Web Services has pledged to deploy large-scale solar systems across 50 fulfillment and sortation centres globally by 2020, with deployments this year set to generate 41MW of renewable energy for the company.
Land Securities is world's first property firm to have science-based targets approved
The UK's largest listed commercial real estate company has today (2 March) announced the approval of its science-based target to reduce emissions by 80% by 2050.
Co-op becomes first UK retailer to source 100% Fairtrade cocoa
Co-op has become the first UK retailer to only sell and use 100% Fairtrade cocoa in its products, and has called on other retailers to increase their commitments to the Fairtrade initiative.
Canary Wharf Group launches circular coffee waste system
A pioneering initiative at the Canary Wharf estate in London has fully embraced the circular economy as the property, retail and waste management sectors join forces to recycle and reuse coffee waste.
Sainsbury's becomes first retailer to commit to 100% plastic-free cotton buds
Sainsbury's has today (22 February) become the first British retailer to publicly commit to the complete removal of plastic from its cotton buds, as the supermarket group aims to replace the current sticks with a fully biodegradable option by the end of 2017.
New ACT programme seeks to assess transformative business models
New methodologies to quantify the preparation of companies in the utilities, transport and retail sectors in shifting towards a low-carbon economy look set to be deployed, after year-long pilot projects highlighted the needs of these sectors.
From disruptors to established leaders: Britain's sharing economy set for 60% upsurge in 2017
Sales generated by the UK's five biggest sharing economy sectors could grow by as much as £8bn this year, driven by an increasingly digitally literate and entrepreneurial population, according to new predictions from professional services firm PwC.
Consumer engagement: Fitting the final piece of the food waste puzzle
With edie's engagement month in full swing, George Ogleby investigates one of the biggest challenges facing Britain's circular economy transition: consumer engagement on food waste.
The Sustainable Business Covered podcast: Episode 19 - Inside The Body Shop's innovation lab
Rounding off a packed month of innovation-themed content, edie takes the Sustainable Business Covered podcast to Croydon to bring you an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of The Body Shop's new innovation laboratory.
Liz Goodwin: Britain at risk of losing global food waste leadership
EXCLUSIVE: Britain's global leadership on food waste has "plateaued" and requires the combined effort of consumers, retailers, and policymakers to keep the nation on track with reduction commitments, the World Resources Institute's (WRI) director of food loss and waste Liz Goodwin has said.
Plastic bag take-back: the next step towards a circular economy?
Plastic bag use is expected to fall significantly in Sweden after an innovative take-back trial conducted by Nottingham Trent University led to an 80% drop in consumer usage.
Sainsbury's sees surge in demand for regional food waste campaign
As the spotlight on reducing consumer food waste intensified this week, Sainsbury’s director of corporate affairs Louise Evans has revealed that the supermarket has seen a surge in applications from town and cities to take part in its campaign to tackle household food waste.
Could this MDF recycling innovation solve a circular economy conundrum for retailers?
A breakthrough technology that recycles medium-density fibreboard (MDF) can deliver a commercially-viable process to recover wood fibre from the material, according to the solution's creator.
edie explains: ISO 14001
This edie explains business guide, produced in association with edie's supporting partner NQA, provides an in-depth summary of the ISO 14001 Standard which is used to establish and maintain a continuous level of environmental performance improvements.
Courtauld Commitment signatories aim to double food redistribution output
Signatories of the flagship Courtauld Commitment have unveiled a new ambition to double the amount of surplus food that is redistributed across the UK, while supermarket chain Waitrose has agreed to a new surplus food redistribution trial with social enterprise charity FareShare.
Asda creates online food waste marketplace for suppliers
Supermarket giant Asda has launched an app that delivers an online platform for suppliers to exchange surplus food to help eliminate food waste in the supply chain.
Courtald Commitment saves major UK brands £100m of food waste
UK retailers and manufacturers have generated an estimated £100m in food waste savings over a three-year period as part of WRAP's Courtauld Commitment Phase 3, new figures released today (10 January) reveal.
Clearer marketing can open £800bn windfall for 'sustainable' brands, says Unilever
Brands that move to promote the sustainability credentials of their products more clearly can tap into a £817bn market opportunity catalysed by a growth in awareness amongst consumers, new research from Unilever has suggested.
Employee engagement helps P&G hit energy reduction goal four years early
Consumer goods firm Procter & Gamble (P&G) has revealed that a new energy engagement initiative at manufacturing sites has improved energy efficiency by 5% in the last 12 months, which has seen the company hit a 2020 goal for energy reduction four years early.
Ikea nears three-fold increase in sustainable product sales
The world's biggest furniture retailer Ikea has almost trebled the sales from its 'sustainable life at home' products, while also announcing a new €1bn financial framework to promote projects that fall within its People & Planet sustainability strategy.
Tesco boss calls for greater transparency to tackle food waste
EXCLUSIVE: Retailers are showing a "growing appetite" to collaborate to tackle food waste, but still need to provide clearer information and deliver better reporting standards to drive change, the chief executive of Britain's largest supermarket group has told edie.
How Brexit can streamline retail supply chains by harnessing the growth of Africa
Brexit can place UK retailers at the vanguard of nascent agricultural and manufacturing supply sectors in Africa, but only if the UK Government retains current tariff-free access to products from the continent.
Black Friday: Five ways businesses are promoting sustainable shopping during the frenzy
Black Friday and its tech-savvy sibling Cyber Monday look set to send the retail sphere into a frenzy. But with consumers beginning to align to companies with sustainability credentials, will this year's shopping spree spare a thought for the environment?
Research underpins need for Scottish business leadership on food waste
Scottish businesses have been urged to provide "clear leadership" on food waste, as new research shows that an estimated 1.35 million tonnes of food and drink is wasted in the country each year.
Two-thirds of Britain's recyclable plastic packaging is not being recycled, finds Co-op
The majority of all recyclable consumer packaging in the UK ends up in landfill or being sent to incineration, with only a third being recycled or re-used as intended, according to new research from food retailer The Co-operative Group (Co-op).
VF corporation exceeds carbon reduction goals by 'large margin'
International apparel and footwear company VF corporation has reduced its global carbon emissions by 12% from 2011 to 2015 - exceeding its original 5% goal for the five-year period.
Stella McCartney: Fashion is literally getting away with murder
British fashion designer Stella McCartney has called on clothing manufacturers to take more responsibility for the environmental impact of the products they produce and stop the "unglamorous" sourcing of unsustainable and unethical products.
Sainsbury's announces second stage of food waste campaign
Supermarket chain Sainsbury's has announced the next step in its "Waste less, Save More" campaign, investing £1m into towns and cities across the UK to cut back on food waste.
Choice editing: a crucial next step for the circular economy?
Manufacturers and retailers should go beyond using persuasion techniques to encourage resource-efficient behaviours towards the process of 'choice editing', where hard-to-recycle products are removed from shelves or certain materials are eliminated from packaging in order to limit consumer choices around the circular economy.
The Body Shop extends Southeast Asian biodiversity programme
The Body Shop has today (1 November) extended its Bio-Bridges programme which aims to regenerate 75 million square metres of forest by 2020.
M&S Energy funds 26 community energy projects
The energy arm of British retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) has today (31 October) announced the winners of a £350,000 Community Energy Fund which supports a range of projects looking to install on-site clean technology systems.
Timberland continues collaborative circular economy drive
Outdoor clothing company Timberland is ramping up its circular economy efforts as a number of innovative closed-loop models for footwear now approach the next stages of development.
Furniture manufacturers urged to solve circular economy conundrum
Britain's mattress manufacturers must become advocates of the circular economy by taking the lead on producer responsibility schemes which could significantly reduce the sector's vast waste-to-landfill rates.
Retailers and restaurants stepping up to the plate on sustainable seafood
Fisheries, supermarkets and foodservice businesses are together driving up demand for traceable, sustainable seafood as a new report from the Marine Stewardship council (MSC) reveals that the volume of MSC-certified catch increased by a further 6% last year.
Sainsbury's boss clashes with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall over food waste management
Sainsbury's chief executive Mike Coupe has fended off a fresh wave of criticism from celebrity chef-turned-eco-warrior Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall about the "ridiculous system" of exacting cosmetic standards of the fruit and veg sold by Britain's supermarkets.
Competitive retail nature placing supply chain performance at risk
EXCLUSIVE: Retailers need to ask "honest" questions as to whether current emphasis on competition over collaboration is actually stifling business growth and transparency, by damaging supply chains that can't cater to minimal standards from day one.
The best retailers for the world: Driving responsible retail and one-planet prosperity
Low-carbon, resource-efficient retail is the only way forward, but we might also need to dig deeper if we are to find one-planet prosperity. Ahead of Wednesday's Responsible Retail Conference, Mike Townsend explores the real challenges and opportunities - along with evidence of an innovative shift - taking place in Sweden.
US clothing firm launches voting campaign to place environment back on the ballot
American outdoor clothing company Patagonia has launched a major non-partisan environmental campaign in preparation for the upcoming Presidential election, calling on voters to elect sustainability-conscious candidates.
Three years on from Rana Plaza: How The Bangladesh Accord plans to leave a positive supply chain legacy
Three years on from the Rana Plaza tragedy, edie's Matt Mace speaks to the executive director of the Bangladesh Accord Rob Wayss on why the seemingly "slow movement" of improving safety standards in the country shouldn't take away from the "unprecedented progress" shown by willing brand signatories.
Price and performance dominant factors for sustainable products, says Kingfisher
EXCLUSIVE: Companies that "plaster their products with 'eco'" are unlikely to make the same connection with consumers, compared with those creating sustainable products that offer other tangible benefits such as better price and enhanced performance.
Can 'wonky veg' unite consumers and supermarkets in the food waste battle?
With UK supermarkets struggling to meet impending food waste targets, a new questionnaire reveals that retailers believe consumers are more than willing to turn to wonky veg as a sustainable solution that would be a "clear benefit to all".
Caffé Nero triples sustainable farming training scheme
Coffee shop chain Caffé Nero has is tripling its efforts to promote sustainable practices to coffee farmers as a means to improve the "transparency and addressability" of its supply chain.
Policies, data and imports: tackling the trilemma of collaboration for Britain's retailers
In the wake of some key waste and resource efficiency issues being brought to light within the UK retail sector, edie's Matt Mace speaks to the British Retail Consortium (BRC) about how to drive collaboration in this highly-competitive market as a means to deliver low-carbon, resource-efficient ways of doing business.
edie Responsible Retail Conference programme
Can sustainability and profitability go hand-in-hand? Are current retail business models fit for purpose if we are to deliver the transformational change needed to create a low-carbon, zero-waste economy? Download now.
edie launches Responsible Retail Conference to discuss business-critical sustainability challenges
Retailers will be equipped with the tools they need to influence and engage with stakeholders on sustainability and realise the commercial benefits of low-carbon, resource-efficient business models at a brand new edie conference in September.
Asda becomes first supermarket to show customer food waste savings
Asda customers have saved £57 a year on average after the supermarket chain launched a campaign to tackle domestic food waste.
Tesco finds an appetite for 100% sustainably sourced cocoa
Supermarket giant Tesco has revealed that it will acquire all cocoa used for its own label chocolate, biscuits, cakes, deserts and cereal products sold in the UK from Rainforest Alliance Certified sources by the end of 2018.
EFRA launches food waste inquiry as Europe gears up to tackle supermarket waste
The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee has launched a new inquiry to establish the impacts of the seven million tonnes of food waste produced in the UK, as a European-wide campaign to ban supermarkets from throwing away food closes in on a major milestone.
M&S expands redistribution trials for frozen perishable food
Marks and Spencer (M&S) has been provided with 'assured advice' from Westminster City Council to expand a trial aiming to redistribute chilled and perishable food waste to local charities.
M&S invites customers to invest in community solar project
Marks & Spencer (M&S) has launched a unique collaborative initiative designed to generate renewable electricity from solar panels installed on the retailer's stores.
'The world never stands still': M&S continues green business evolution with Plan A update
Nearly three-quarters of products now have an 'eco' or ethical quality; retail food waste has significantly declined, and energy and water efficiency have greatly improved, capping off another hugely successful year of progress for Marks & Spencer's (M&S) Plan A sustainability programme.
Procter & Gamble to eliminate phosphates from dishwasher tablets globally
Consumer goods firm Procter & Gamble has announced a new innovation which will end phosphate use from all retail and professional Fairy dishwasher tablets by 2017, significantly reducing the environmental footprint of its products in addition to improving cleaning performance.
How The Body Shop is using 'monkey dating' to tackle deforestation
The Body Shop has today (24 May) officially launched its new Bio-Bridges programme, which aims to regenerate and reconnect 75 million square metres of damaged forests, as part of the beauty products retailer's ambitious new CSR strategy.
Edinburgh launches 'Remakery' to ignite re-use and repair revolution
An Edinburgh social enterprise has set up a unique re-use and repair superstore to encourage second-hand shopping and enable more people to learn key repair skills in the Scottish capital, as a way of driving a circular economy.
Primark signals intention to join WRAP in war on fashion waste
EXCLUSIVE: High street retailer Primark plans to ramp up its ambitions to drive resource efficiency within the fashion sector, after revealing clear intentions to sign up to WRAP's Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP) and the European Clothing Action Plan (ECAP) initiatives.
M&S Energy re-launches £350,000 community energy fund
Marks and Spencer (M&S) Energy has launched the second edition of its Community Energy Fund to offer local energy projects across the UK up to £350,000 in funding.